Forget that road trip to the Santa Monica shore because this weekend the beach is coming to Riverside. Bringing nearly two tons of sand to the downtown streets, the AVP Crocs Tour Riverside Open will be the city’s first-ever pro beach volleyball tournament. Beijing gold-medal duo Phil “Thin Beast” Dalhausser and Todd Rogers and fellow Olympians Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs are among the elite competitors ready to set, serve and spike at this double-elimination tourney. And since it’s not a spring beach party without college co-eds, the site will also host the Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship, a female round robin tourney that will air next month on the CBS College Sports Network. As the chiseled dudes and Amazonian-like babes dive and drive on the sand, the sunblock-soaked crowds can fill up at Johnsonville Sausages’ Big Taste Grill or join other 21+ attendees chilling out at the Bud Light Oasis and Malibu Rum’s Get Your Island On bar. For those inspired by the latest surfer ‘dos, there’s even a Paul Mitchell “Cut for the Cause” station with the dome-trimming proceeds going to charity. Tour officials are excited to bring professional beach volleyball to the Inland Empire. The excitement of the Riverside Open, coupled with the Collegiate Nationals, will make this tour stop a can’t-miss event. (David Jenison)
AVP Crocs Tour Riverside Open featuring Beijing Olympians and others at 3300 Market Street, downtown Riverside, www.avp.com; Fri.-Sun., Apr. 17-19, various times. $10-$40/day.